An Ancient Tome - The Story of Gharik Darkmoor

Gharik

Neophyte
Gharik Darkmoor

Little is known about the mysterious behemoth that is Gharik Darkmoor. Even the memories of the sharpest minds would deteriorate over several millennia of undeath. Gharik's story is one of myth and legend. Unfortunately, only one copy of his tale remains, and several of its pages have rotted with time. This is a patched together collection of some of the pages from that ancient tome.

Chapter One - The life of a Warrior

...among one of the tallest men I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. He must be at least seven feet tall and over three hundred fifty stones of raw, grotesque, muscle.

Witnessing the man in combat is enough to shake the resolve of the most hardened warriors. The man charges headlong with a giant two headed ax, cleaving through platemail and bone alike with a single, effortless motion. Just the other day I witnessed Gharik swing his monstrous ax at a man and drive it halfway through a tree after his victim ducked. Without breaking stride, Gharik removed his giant broadsword from its sheath and the hulking piece of metal from his back in one swift motion. The poor soul didn't stand a chance, Gharik decapitated the man with a flick of his wrist and continued skewering the men at arms before him. Only after the dust of battle had settled did he go back to retrieve his beloved ax.

After the battle, while the rest of the army celebrates with mead and stories of past glory in the local tavern, Gharik merely sits with his back to the wall staring at the dancing flames in the fireplace. Perhaps he is reflecting on the trials of the day, but the man is most curious. He only drinks water, and speaks very little. When approached by the local women he stares until the awkwardness becomes nearly intolerable, and then kindly declines their advances. Other warriors give him a wide birth, out of respect more than fear I think.

Gharik never takes on an apprentice, and as far as I know, he doesn't even know how to write. This is unfortunate, his vast knowledge of combat would benefit even the most seasoned swordsman. I must find a way to...

Chapter Two is missing...

Chapter Three - Inner Turmoil

...the screams were enough to wake the dead. The burning of the village and the slaying of innocent women and children were enough to make me wretch. I could see the turmoil in Gharik's eyes. After these many months studying him, I've seen the damage battle has done to his soul. However, refusing a direct order by his superior officer would also go against a code he lived his life by.

Many believe it was his long life of seeing good men die, and killing even more in return, were
the breaking point. I believe it was the horror of that day that broke his spirit...

Chapter Four - The Breaking Point

...the line had been drawn. The corruption within the ranks of the King's army had reached a point of no return. Gharik had reached his breaking point, I saw the madness in his eyes. Challenging an officer was bad enough, but his challenge was for the General this day.

The entire army had gathered in an enormous circle around the two seasoned veterans. The few men left with untainted souls cheered Gharik on, while the rest hurled insults I will not repeat.

The fight was short lived. Gharik quickly disarmed the General and threw him to the ground.
Laying flat on his back, the General begged for mercy and promised Gharik title and riches beyond his wildest dreams. Gharik brought his giant ax down with such force that the earth shook in agony. A riot quickly ensued.

Those loyal to Gharik stood back to back with the giant inching toward the dark forest. Gharik exchanged blows with hundreds of bloodthirsty soldiers. By the time he reached the forest, all of his companions had been slain. In a desperate attempt, Gharik let loose a mighty battle cry, calling to the gods for assistance. A hulking ball of black energy emerged from the depths of Sosaria and destroyed the entire army.

He was all that remained...

Chapter Five - A Cloaked Figure

"...that is MY power, fleshling." the cloaked figure had an aura of enormous power that I've never felt before. Though his head was covered, I could see long, blood-red fingers as he pointed to the destruction he had created. At second glance, they were merely bones, not the fleshy fingers of a human.

I've never seen Gharik lose his composure before. Perhaps it was the pressure building over the past few months, but I know the fight and now the presence of this evil creature would have put an average man on his knees as he sobbed. Gharik merely flinched before this... monster.

"Who are you?" Gharik asked ask he regained his composure.

"I have been called many names throughout the history of this world, Minion. You may simply address me as The Guardian."

Gharik scowled.

The Guardian titled his head back as he let loose a skin curdling cackle. A blazing red skull revealed itself as his hood fell back. "I've spared you, fleshling, because I have use for you. A man of your size and skill is just what I need to raise my army. You will be the first, and you will lead my legions to victory in this realm."

"I did not just kill one madman to serve an even greater evil... Guardian." Gharik retorted.

"Silence fool!" The Guardian's booming voice could be heard for miles I'm sure. Every bird within view fled. "My cause is now your own. You have no choice."

Gharik was forced to his knees by an invisible power. "Yes... My Lord..." The words were forced from Gharik's mouth. Even a man his size could not fight the power of this being...

Chapters Six through Fifteen are all missing

Chapter Sixteen - The Man is No More...

...he is decaying. Over the past centuries I've seen Gharik try to fight his curse, but it's a losing battle I'm afraid. The curse has granted him immortality, but his flesh has been slowly rotting away. Strangely, he continues to grow in strength and even size. Anything left of his humanity is nothing more than a distant memory. We Historians are granted the gift of immortality, but I'm sure my life will come to an end by this ... creature's hand when the last flicker of his soul leaves his body.

It's only a matter of time before The Guardian has complete control of Gharik. There's a darkness creeping through the forest, his army of undeadites will rise soon I'm afraid...
 
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